More than 30 law enforcement leaders from across the country gathered on June 16 at the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) first-ever Law Enforcement Summit to better understand the massive illegal sports betting market in the U.S and what steps can be taken to address it.
“The illegal sports betting market is a growing problem and no group is more credible in carrying that message and identifying a solution than members of law enforcement,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “Today’s Summit highlighted that the illegal sports betting market funds large criminal enterprises and fails to protect the integrity of the sports we all love. It’s time for a modernized approach that will support law enforcement around the country.”
“The reality is that illegal sports betting is a growing and dangerous problem; the scope is massive – hundreds of billions of dollars – and shows up on every street corner,” said Ed Davis, former police commissioner of the City of Boston and a member of AGA’s Illegal Gambling Advisory Board. “We need to look at the utility of a regulated, transparent sports betting market. Let’s face it, demand is only rising. Consumers would rather do this in a regulated market that provides consumer protections, integrity of the game, and I would rather have certainty and transparency. It’s easier to maintain public safety in that type of environment.”
In a robust town hall discussion, law enforcement spoke of the illegal sports betting market as a significant problem and of regulation as a potential solution. Based on input from the Summit, the AGA’s Illegal Gambling Advisory Board will author an after-action report that will serve as a guide for stakeholders – including policymakers, regulators and sports leagues – to develop potential solutions.